Tag Archives: running to lose weight

How to Keep From Getting Fat over the Holidays

And still enjoy indulging yourself!

First off: A few parties and a few holiday feasts should not put you over the edge and cause you to gain 5-10 pounds! It’s what you do day after day, year round that sets you up for the one-two punch of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then of course, there is New Years, when you vow that this is the last time and then you plan to get serious! Think of this scenario as you might a handmade snowball rolled down a mountain, by the time it reaches the half-way point the little snowball is now an avalanche! Trying to undo the snowball will require a much larger shovel.

What is the sense of living if every day is a struggle fraught with abstinence? Eating and drinking are simple pleasures, sharing meals with family and friends during the frustrated dieterholidays should never be dreaded and they should be something to look forward to. I am going to explain exactly how to do this without suffering the consequence of over-indulgence.

Make a pact with your family that the morning of a holiday feast, you have a sensible breakfast. A light meal made up primarily of carbohydrates. Plan to go out for an hour of easy exercise. If you don’t run, walk. If you prefer to ride a bike, perfect go do it, but don’t go crazy. If you dig a big hole you’ll generate a big appetite.­­­

Do a few active chores- wash the car, shovel some snow, tidy up around the house, just try to stay active until lunch. Be sure to have a nice meal for lunch, nothing over the top just enough to square up your blood sugar and keep from becoming ravenous come dinner time.

Stay off the coach! You have the day off and there is a lot of football you want to see, try to watch the games while standing, move around and stay active. Sitting promotes snacking and it also drops your metabolism. If you keep moving everything will work in your favor, your metabolism, circulation and digestion will all be lit up in preparation for your next meal.

Take a 20 minute walk– nothing intense, just a 10 minute destination and return. If you have some friends over, invite them to come with you. They will bitch and moan but the ones who come along will really end up enjoying the time they had with you without all the disruptions in the house.

When it comes time for dinner; enjoy the meal, have that glass of wine but be mindful, you need to go for one more walk before settling in for the evening. This time I suggest around 40 minutes to an hour walk. Don’t stress that you are not running, you are just trying to keep your metabolism stoked.

Here is the thing: Eating and sitting are murder; even those who feel that because they went out early in the morning for a Turkey Trot and this is their hopeful salvation, it’s not enough. Parking your weary hungry body on the couch will soon result in a sluggish metabolism. By keeping on the move, your body acts like a furnace and burns through the food you consume. You will also find that if you feed at reasonable intervals you are less likely to binge come dinner time. You will still have a chance to enjoy all of the food you love and without thinking about it, once satisfied you will simply stop eating. Odds are you will eat 20-30% less food and with your activity levels up throughout the day; the energy you consume will be met with a nice energy burn.

By practicing this approach during the festive season you should come away unscathed. As a matter of principle, the most effective way to maintain weight is through a sensible eating plan combined with an active lifestyle. Early exercise is great, staying busy all day is better. To learn how to create an intelligent meal plan, visit: www.diazhumanperformance.com/nutrition.html we provide a free nutrition analysis.

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Fitness Tips for Fat Loss

Common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight through exercise

Earlier in my career path I owned health clubs. I sold memberships, trained clients, hired and fired trainers and in 12 years of managing club affairs I learned a lot about the needs and desires of fitness enthusiasts. I could rant for hours about the goofy things I had witnessed members do in a health club, however, my focus for this article relates to the moronic things I see trainers have their clients do and get paid for. Before I build my list of useless exercises, I think it’s important that I shed light on the typical requests of the average new client in order of importance:

1. Weight loss (most people join health clubs to lose weight)
2. Tone-not build (the second leading request is to tone muscle without building them larger)
3. Improve health (coming of age and tired of feeling sickly and lethargic)
4. Supplemental to sports training (cross training, this one is pretty new)
5. Meet people (likes group exercise, classes, Yoga, Zumba Spinning etc)

A trainer is hired to help clients achieve their goals. Look at the first few lines of any trainers’ bio on their personal website and they will tell you: “I will help you archive your goals”. Flash forward to the initial interview of trainer/client: Client shares their desires (see 1-4 on my list), trainer divulges the fee for hire, a deal is struck and then… is when the *^%x hits the fan I my book!
The broad stroke
9 out of 10 trainers will begin by suggesting; “get on a (pick one) cardio machine and warm up for 15 minutes.” After which, they will begin segregating body parts and working each major muscle group in some fashion of sequential order. For example: Back-Biceps, Legs-Triceps, Shoulders-Abs… I think you get the idea. What’s worse is most health clubs are designed with specific departments of body part machines in plug and play fashion so as to make it easy for the novice to find the appropriate machine to work the appropriate muscles. The trainer you are now paying will serve as your guide. He or she will plug the pin into the weight stacks, count your repetitions for you out loud and tell you how great you are doing, because he or she is very considerate and over patronizing.

Let’s return to the #1 goal- To Lose Weight. The best way to lose weight is to keep your heart rate up for a reasonable amount of time. What is reasonable? How much weight do you need to lose and how much time can you dedicate and how much can you endure? More is better. Too much too early is unsustainable. Heart rate is directly tied to the amount of calories you burn and from which energy source. If your heart rate is too high, the exercise will be short lived. You burn more calories relative to time spent but high intensity exercise does a terrible job of burring fat. If the exercise is low intensity, you’ll be able to spend more time but the caloric expenditure will be low even though the majority of the calories burned will come from fat. (This is awesome if you have all day to exercise).

The solution: Wear a heart rate monitor during exercise; have a VO2 max test conducted to identify specifically what heart rates will produce greatest benefits for you. If you can’t afford a VO2 max test or don’t have access to this technology, subtract your age from 180 and based on your initial state of fitness, add or subtract 5-10 beats per minute. If you start out pretty healthy, add 5, if you are out of shape, subtract 5 beats per minute (reserve the 10 bpm shift for extreme cases +/-).

Avoid exercises that isolate small muscle groups
Here is a short list:

• No bicep curls
• Triceps extensions
• Calve raises
• Laterals for the deltoids and…
• Ready… crunches or sit ups.

Most people that visit a gym will spend between an hour and ninety minutes max on their exercise routine. Do the math: 15 minute warm-up on cardio machine, 3X10 reps on body parts. Working biceps and triceps average 1 minute per set X 6 sets with an average of 30 seconds to 1 minute rest between sets. We have now wasted up to 12 minutes on an area of the body that will not improve in appearance until the layer of fat is burned away. Because the muscles are so small (relative to larger muscle groups, hips and thighs) you will only burn a fraction of the calories that you should have relative to your goal (lose weight-tone not build). You have now exhausted 50% of your dedicated time exercising on worthless exercise. What people should come to grips with is that to lose weight you have to make every minute count, espically if you only plan to exercise for an hour.

Focus on Compound Exercises
A compound exercise involves more than one joint: For example, the hip and knee, shoulder and elbow. When bot joints are involved the exercise becomes functional and integrates far more muscle mass than does isolated exercises as mentioned above. You will burn easily 4 times as many calories per effort and will improve functional motor skills which are a huge bonus and arguably even more important than the number of calories you’ll spend during exercise.

You may be thinking that by participating in an aerobics class sounds like the answer?
To some degree you are right. You would burn more calories this way but in my experience, most aerobic classes are not aerobic at all. They tend to be anaerobic, especially if you are out of shape. This will result in calories expended almost exclusively from sugar (You won’t be burning fat over the long term).

burpee

Burpee’s

Lifting weights while exercising overloads muscle, when a muscle is overloaded, it becomes stronger, denser and increases your metabolism. Having said that, the key to weight lifting effectively is a matter of progression, begin with lighter weight and work up to loads you can manage with good form for an average of 10 repetitions. Initially, many exercises are more effective with body weight alone. For example: if you can’t do 10 push-ups with good form, doing a bench press is not an effective substitute. A push-up is a functional exercise; it involves more than one joint and encourages core integration and stability. A bench press does not. A body weight squat that takes you through a full range of motion should precede a squat with external load (weights) that you cannot successfully move through a full range of motion.

My recommendation for a successful hour of exercise to lose weight and tone muscle

Begin without any external devices for the first 6 weeks. Perform a circuit of exercise that cause you to keep your heart rate to an 180-age while exercising with recovery times between exercise as needed that causes you to come down to no lower than 120 bpm. If you are 40 years old, in fair shape, 180-40= 140 + 5= 145 bpm (you will be surprised how hard this is in the beginning).

Air Squat

Air Squat

Example: Jog/run 200 yrds, do 30 seconds worth of burpee’s (look it up) 30 seconds worth of push-ups, plank for 30 seconds, recover to 120 of max and repeat. Each of these collective sets, including recovery will take 4-5 minutes. After the second round, you will want to walk a bit, this is very taxing. Go ahead and walk until you feel able to proceed. Keep this up for an hour, do it every other day and follow a sensible plan, doing this will get you to your goal much faster than your old trainer. Oh yeah, I forgot. Fire the trainer, use the money to buy a high quality heart rate monitor.

This approach is surprisingly simple in structure, does not require a membership to a gym yet is highly effective.
To really accelerate the process, make a point to jog or walk for an additional 30 minutes every late afternoon, preferably before the dinner meal. This added bump in metabolism will pay huge dividends. It m

ay not seem like much but it’s the consistency that matters. Turning the switch up on your metabolism right about the time that things began to slow down.

This is the theme for the exercise sessions I take my small group through 3 days each week. Of course there is more variety, some overload and a few extra tools but the concept is the same. I don’t count reps, I don’t commonly complement new hair-do’s but I get things done. That’s what they pay me for.
Written by Richard Diaz, founder of diaz human performance.
www.diazhumanperformance

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Training Smart with Heart Rate 04/11 by The Natural Running Network Live | Sports Podcasts

Training Smart with Heart Rate 04/11 by The Natural Running Network Live | Sports Podcasts.

DrSanMillanTraining with heart rate is the most effective way to improve endurance for cycling and running.  Join Richard Diaz and Dr. Iñigo San Millán, director of the Exercise Physiology Lab & Sports at the UC School of Medicine as they discuss heart rate training.
Dr. Iñigo San Millán was selected as Colorado’s Top Thinker 2013 in Health. He also served as director of physiological testing for the professional cycling team Garmin-Transitions, Spain’s pro team Once and Saunier-Duval, as well as Astana in 2007. While a number of his former employers have been beset by doping scandals, San Millán is widely regarded as an exponent of a clean cycling.

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Diet Cults Exposed

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Diet CultsIf you are on a diet, any diet, you need to listen to this show. Best Selling Author Matt Fitzgerald has a lot to say about “One true way to eat” for maximum heath diets. Nutrition is plagued with fallacy and we’re going to expose some of these myths.

Fitzgerald advocates an agnostic, rational approach to eating, based on one’s own habits and lifestyle. Many professional athletes already practice this agnostic approach, and now we too can ditch the brainwashing of these diet cults for good.

Check out this episode!

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Online Coaching for Runners 02/28 by The Natural Running Network Live | Sports Podcasts

Online Coaching for Runners 02/28 by The Natural Running Network Live | Sports Podcasts.

onlineThe Internet coupled with the advent of Bluetooth and GPS provides a unique opportunity to virtually coach runners online. Join Richard Diaz and Vanessa Runs as they discuss the benefits and provide real time support for one of our marathon running listeners.

It was not long ago that the ability to monitor heart rate was cutting edge information. Now many coaches are able to provide detailed advice regarding a client’s training across the globe! Richard Diaz reveals one of the hottest advancements in running and triathlon training technology.

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A Review of Racing Weight Cook Book

Matt-GeorgieJoin Richard Diaz and Vanessa Runs as they chat with nutrition experts Matt Fitzgerald and Georgie Fear co-authors of the “Racing Weight Cookbooklearn to prepare delicious meals that help you lose weight and keep you lean while you train for your next race.

Every endurance athlete or marathon runner knows that in order to get faster they must drop body fat.  Performance gains generally occur first through proper nutrition. Matt Fitzgerald’s best-selling weight loss program for athletes “Racing Weight” incorporates a simple Diet Quality Score system that guides athletes to eat the best foods in the right amounts throughout the day. The Racing Weight Cookbook breaks recipes into three skill levels for inexperienced cooks, the recipe literate, and athlete foodies.

Check out this episode!

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Crazy arm swing lets your friends know you’re coming

Before I get rolling on this topic, I want to thank you, our audience, for challenging me to research and prepare for you. Today I exposed myself to some fascinating data that has helped me to support my claims in this article. A simple idea with very complex underpinnings that make this something I am excited to share with you.

Arm swing as it relates to running gait, as it seems, is our trademark move. How many times have you found yourself approaching a runner from a distance and come to know who it was by the way they moved long before you could make out their facial features?

Over the years I have written about running styles, what makes a more proficient injury resistant gait but rarely have I touched on how our arm swing influences the way we run. Just this year alone, I have already conducted running clinics in 5 different cities for runners of various abilities, some following the “Natural path” others still unaware of the ill effects of heel striking. Regardless of approach where foot contact is concerned, or the ability to adapt to a revised style of running, arm swing, I have found, is the hardest trait to correct. The way our arms move while we run holds heavy influence over global outcome, where pacing, energy costs and even injury is concerned.

Just for fun here are just a few interesting arm swing styles:

  • ·         T Rex – arms held static in front of ones chest with hands seemingly limp and arms appearing to be unusually short
  • ·         Knuckle dragger – arms held low, like a gorilla, bent a bit forward at the waist
  • ·         Spinner– arms seeming to swirl in circles also in front of the body
  • ·         Muscle bound– shoulders hiked upwards, elbows out, shoulders swinging side to side

I’ll just bet you could come up with a few of your own renditions.

I teach people a method of arm swing that through my research and experience has shown to be extremely effective in guiding us and providing enhancement to forward locomotion, which I am going to share with you, but first, I want to introduce you to some science that I found fascinating.

As I was pouring over some lofty research papers on gait, I was lead down a deep path, beginning with the first and second law of thermodynamics, which speaks of energy costs, then on to a term known as entrophy. Then it was like I was hit with a hammer! Entrophy is a theory that suggests that all things begin in order and then all order begins to dissipate to eventual chaos. This ensuing chaos where humans are concerned is largely responsible to our environment. For example; infants are typically born with the ability to be perfectly ambidextrous. Through the process of selection and parental influence we begin to retrain or corrupt these motor skills. Teaching our children to be right handed vs. left is one way that we introduce imbalance. From these early stages of our lives we begin to form our traits. Another example of this degradation of inherent skill can be found in our breathing patterns. Watch a baby as it sleeps, as they breathe they draw air deeply into their bellies which is far more functional than chest breathing. Take a deep breath; odds are you filled your chest and not your belly. This action draws your diaphragm up against your lungs and inhibits as much as 25% of your potential to take on air. When did this transition occur? This is one of those burning quandaries that I have yet to find an answer for, yet, it like other human motor functions have altered or degraded with time.

Getting back to my point; we, with time adapt and mold ourselves around our personal environments. We develop imbalances, and from these imbalances, physical traits that come to be our nature. Training, regardless of discipline or purpose, is all about honing in on our functional asymmetries. Our arms and legs have the potential to work together to assist our forward locomotion, transferring roles of stability, guidance and propulsion, “if” trained to do so. 

armside  To the contrary, what I have found to be more typical is our trademark moves that are commonly disruptive to our forward progress as runners.  Think of your arms as you might a steering wheel; while driving down a road swinging the steering wheel from side to side will cause your car to travel on a jagged course. Unlike a steering wheel, your arms also have the ability to assist in drawing you forward if they were to oscillate forward and back in a rhythmic fashion. Further, there is an energy potential that exists that can greatly influence your rate of speed while reducing energy demands.

Do this experiment; stand up, relax your shoulders, bend your elbow a bit more than 90 degrees so that your hand is slightly higher than your elbow. While maintaining this angle, draw you hand back to your hip. Think of it as “getting ready to draw your six shooter”. Be sure that your elbow is not splaying outwards but is pulled straight back and behind your hand. You should begin to feel tension where the muscles of your chest connect to your shoulder, much like pulling on a bow string to release an arrow. Now, simply release and relax your arm while maintaining your arm angle. Like a pendulum, you have initiated energy and released it. For many people, this action is cumbersome due to tight pectoral muscles. But this action/reaction potentiates an opportunity to assist the legs in forward motion.

With training, this action can become “our nature” and far easier to perform and will yield a significant enhancement to our running costs, equilibrium and stability. It is a matter of creating order where once there was chaos. Getting our arms into the swing of things so to speak.armfrnt

Another flaw that seems to get overlooked is what we do with our hands. I see various grips, from hitch hikers, slap happy loose hands to tightly balled fists. Clenching your fists is much like clenching your teeth, it causes unnecessary tension. A good hand posture is one that that is lightly cupped not clenched. By simply lying your fingers against your palm and resting your thumb atop your index finger, your hands will come along for the ride without generating any extra stress.

handOne more experiment; the next time you go out for a run, employ this arm swing, try and introduce a rhythm  in where your arms start point is where your hand meets your hip and the finish is where your elbow is in alignment with your hip. Once you have it down, as you are jogging, try doubling up your arm swing speed. I wish I could be there to watch this but since I can’t, I’ll tell you what is going to happen. Your leg speed will double to match your arms. Clearly, this is an indication of the importance and reliance your legs have in relation to your arms.

Arm swing presents an opportunity to improve your running. A good arm swing can minimize lateral rotational movements that can have adverse effect over the way you contact the ground, they can help to propel you forward, increasing your pace and reduce the cost of work. Or, they can help your friends identify you from a far! I suggest you try and give these concepts some thought and find out for yourself what a little intelligent training can do for you.

To find out more about one of our many running clinics, simply visit us at www.diazhumanperformance.com  or www.naturalrunningnetwork.com we would love to meet you!

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Heart Rate Training Part II 07/31 by The Natural Running Network Live | Sports Podcasts

Heartrate2Heart Rate Training Part II 07/31 by The Natural Running Network Live | Sports Podcasts.

This is our second installment of “Heart Rate Training” for runners. This episode covers the first steps in establishing your program, how to determine heart rate to build marathon endurance and motor skills. This piece of the puzzle you won’t want to miss!

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Running Network Anniversary Show 07/12 by The Natural Running Network Live | Blog Talk Radio

Running Network Anniversary Show 07/12 by The Natural Running Network Live | Blog Talk Radi0

I year

The Natural Running Network Live!

The Natural Running Network’s Anniversary Show! Hard to believe, we have been broadcasting weekly for 1 Year now. Listen as we present our “Year in Review” with Richard Diaz, Matt Fitzgerald, Gilbert Tuyabonye, Erica Gratton, and guests we’ve interviewed.

Yes, it is hard to believe; we have produced over 70 episodes in 52 weeks with some of the greatest runners of our time. Here are just a few: Dean Karnazes, Scott Jurek, Leo Monzano, Craig Virgin, Dick Beardsley, Danny Dreyer, Milena Glusac, Brie Felnagle, and advisors, coaches, physicians: Dr Steve Capobianco, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Dr. Brian Abelson, Dr Robert Portman all who are dedicated to the art, wellbeing and performance of running, triathlon and fitness!

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The Boston Marathon’s “Duel in the Sun” 06/28 by The Natural Running Network Live | Blog Talk Radio

Dick-BeardsleyThe Boston Marathon’s “Duel in the Sun” 06/28 by The Natural Running Network Live | Blog Talk Radio.

Meet Dick Beardsley, most famous for his “Duel in the Sun” battle that resulted in a 2 place win behind Alberto Salazar (both runners breaking 2:09) at the Boston Marathon in 1982.  Alberto to this day claims Dick pushed him harder than any other runner.

The battle between Dick and Alberto is the stuff of legends! They ran step for step for over 2 hours with Dick leading until 2:06 into the final half mile when Alberto dug deep and overtook him within a sea of motorcycle cops that many feel impeded Dicks chances to respond to Alberto’s surge. What a story, listen to it from the guy that lived it.

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